Since they initially began their dancing careers as preschoolers, freshman Jacqueline Bieter and sophomore Mary Alice Hutton have danced at local studios, pursuing their passion for artistic movement. Both students continue to invest hours weekly in their hobby after years of previous experience.
Both Bieter and Hutton were introduced to dancing with the help of their parents or friends who had been through the process before and ended up developing a passion for the hobby. “My mom got me involved with dancing,” said freshman Jacqueline Bieter. “She was a dancer and wanted to see if I’d like it too.”
Years of practice, beginning at early ages, helped the dancers develop their technique over a long period of time and get recognized as more skilled dancers as the years progressed. Hutton has been dancing for ten years, and Bieter for even longer. “I started dancing when I was three. This year is my twelfth year dancing at a studio,” said Bieter.
Hutton was attracted to her dance studio by their specialty classes and areas of focus. “I did different types of studio dance for a year before realizing I just wanted to do ballet,” said Hutton. “I dance at Continental Ballet Company in Bloomington, which focuses on classical ballet and occasionally modern.”
Hutton and Bieter compete in annual competitions or perform their routines in spring time showcases, including national competitions in the summer. “Our competition season started a few weeks ago. We (Energy Dance Center) competed in the Hall of Fame recently; it was nerve wracking because that’s one of the biggest competitions of the year, but our small group earned fourth place and Platinum on a few others,” said Bieter.
Ballet and other types of studio dance often pose physical or social issues within the studio, both of which have been overcome by Hutton and Bieter. “The biggest struggle for me regarding studio dance has been trying to be perfect all the time,” said Hutton. “Ballet is all about being perfect and looking flawless. I know people say dance isn’t a sport, but it’s undoubtedly a workout, and you need to be strong.”
Bieter has also suffered minor injuries in pursuing her talent. “I’ve had some hip issues before and sometimes jealousy between dancers can be difficult at times. The cattiness of studio dance is sometimes annoying,” said Bieter.
Improvement and confidence in technique follow years of hard work for the dancers. “I have mastered technique over the past few years and I feel that I have improved a ton just in the past two years. The summer between seventh and eighth grade I moved up to the Junior company which is at the professional level, but we don’t get paid––which is sort of a downfall, but it is a great experience and I love it very much,” said Hutton.